Author: Jeanne Bannon
Publisher: CreateSpaceCover Artist: Covered Creatively
Artist: Covered Creatively Release Date: March 5, 2017
Release Date: March 5, 2017
Romance Genre(s):Contemporary, Sweet
About the Book
From international best-selling author, Jeanne Bannon, comes the story of Jack O’Hurley,a man who’s protected his broken heart by running away and refusing to open himself to love. After years of hiding behind any excuse not to let his walls down, he can’t help but be intrigued when he meets the most unusual woman he’s ever set eyes on. Star is certainly not what he’s been looking for but she just might be what he needs.As Jack begins to fall in love with the eccentric Star, another woman vies for his attention. Torn between the two very different but equalling alluring ladies, he puts into play his tried and true system for determining whether he will continue to date a woman — introducing each to his dog, Phil.Crazy as it may seem, Jack trusts Phil’s instincts more than he does his own. The only problem is that none have yet to pass the Phil Test.
Jack noticed the fur on Phil’s back stand on end and then it came, the low growl and bared teeth he’d expected. Though Phil would never bite, those who didn’t know her were sure to be petrified by this display.Denise was no exception. She backed up, plastering herself against the now closed front door. “Is he going to attack me?”Jack stood between Phil and his date and tried not to smile. “She. Phil’s female.”Denise just failed what Jack liked to call “The Phil Test” as so many other women had before her.“She won’t bite. She just doesn’t like you,” Jack said, then turned to Phil, pulling her by the collar a few feet down the entranceway hall. “Go on now. Go to bed, Phil.” He pointed the way, but the dog didn’t move. Her eyes were trained on Denise. She lifted herhead and smelled the air, her fur still at attention. Then the dog sneezed and shook her head.“I don’t think she likes your perfume,” Jack said. “Think we’d better call it a night. This isn’t going to work out.” He opened the door and without a word, Denise fled, fishing hercar keys out of her purse as she made her way down his walkway.Denise was the sixth woman this month alone Phil had sent packing. Jack flipped on the outside light and watched as she got in her car and hoped she wouldn’t drive too fast and end up nose first in one of the dips along the laneway. Once she was out of sight, he locked the door, made his way to the living room, and plopped into his easy chair beside Phil’s bed. Phil turned in a circle and plopped into her own spot, nudging the duvet until it covered her.
This was a sweet read, in more ways than one. I got through it in a couple of hours and was left wanting more.
I can’t say there’s anything major to get your teeth into and the tension was real but comparatively light – that may be because the book I usually read are heavy in tension and angst. Love Bites is definitely a “feel good” read.
The characters are lively and well-drawn, even down to the owners of the local store, who we only get to meet once.
Phil is an absolute darling. She bounces through the story with a lot of enthusiasm and definitely rules Jack’s life. She is his lady and she’s not about to let just anyone into their cozy, self-contained lifestyle.
Systematically, Phil chases every other woman away, leading Jack to reject potential girlfriend after potential girlfriend, until Star comes along and she falls in love even more quickly than Jack.
One of the things I love most about Star and the way she is portrayed in the book is that she’s undeniably strange but her strangeness (her strong belief in paganism – tarot cards, spiritualism, the festivals etc) is treated kindly. Her beliefs, although not shared by Jack, at least to begin with, are always treated with respect, something which, as a pagan myself, I don’t find often enough.
Jack and Star’s relationship is not all plain sailing and there is a brief time when he has two women to choose from. I felt that the whole situation with Susan was a little rushed and sometimes felt like a device to add tension rather than a natural progression, which might well be because of the need to compress the action imposed by the novella. I also appreciate the need for contrast. Susan’s role is vital but still feels a little contrived.
On the other hand, the other major point of tension, when Star runs away, is extremely well done and unfolds naturally and sweetly. I can’t say I held my breath, but it certainly held my interest.
There were some lovely scenes in the book and vivid descriptions of people and places. The imagery drew me in and made me feel part of the story, something I love and is often missing in the heavier works I read. It was a refreshing change; a breath of cool mountain air.
If I were rating this, it would be a four star or an eight out of ten, for no reason other than that I save top marks for the truly exceptional books that grip me and won’t let go. Yes, there are elements of that here, but it’s not my definition of outstanding, which I appreciate is restrictively high. Nevertheless this is a book I will remember and I’m sure there are times when a scene or image will come to mind and make me smile.
About Jeanne Bannon
Jeanne Bannon is an internationally best-selling and award-winning author and editor. She lives in Caledon, Ontario, Canada with her husband and two daughters.
Connect with Jeanne
Jeanne is giving away PDF copies of three of her books: Love Bites, Lost and Found, and Nowhere to Run. For your chance to win, simply enter via the Rafflecopter below. The contest closes at midnight EST on May 27, 2017, and is open to entrants worldwide.Good luck!Enter here.